by Alan Stein
I challenge you to watch a NCAA March Madness game, from start to finish, as a true student of the game (and NOT as a fan).
How do you do that?
Pick one player from one team and keep your eyes on that player for the entire game. Don’t watch the ball, unless of course, that player has the ball. Put 100% of your focus on that player at all times.
Keep your eyes locked on that player on both ends of the floor. You should be so locked in that you miss most of the action you saw the night before when you were casually watching.
When your player comes out of the game, keep watching until he is off camera. Then watch the player that replaces him in the same fashion!
Believe me, this is not an easy challenge. I give most of you 30 seconds… tops… before you lose focus and go back to watching the game like you normally do!
Ask yourself these questions as you focus on your player:
Does he play help defense?
Does he put himself in position to take a charge?
Does he dive for loose balls?
Does he see ‘man and ball’?
Does he put his hand in the passing lane?
Does he apply solid ball pressure?
Does he contest with a high hand when his man shoots the ball?
Does he box his man out every time?
Does he sprint the floor in transition (both ways)?
Does he have good offensive spacing?
Does he make the extra pass?
Does he crash the offensive glass?
Does he cut to open spaces?
Does he screen to get a teammate open?
Does he communicate with his teammates?
Does he bend over and put his hands on his shorts during free throws?
Does he have good body language during time-outs?
Does he complain about the officiating or when he misses a shot?
Does he hustle on and off the court when subbed for?
Does he cheer for his teammates when he is not in the game?
Does he play with emotion?
Does he ‘Play Present’?
At the end of the game… answer this final question:
Would you want this player on your team?
If you accept this challenge, drop me a shout on Twitter and let me know how you did.
Enjoy the Madness.
This Full-Time-Out is the video version of the audio played at the end of the Hardwood Hustle Podcast: Chillin’ with Jay Williams – Part 2. Listen for new Full Time-Out at the end of each episode of the Hardwood Hustle!
Please share your questions, comments, thoughts, experiences, etc. in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section below…